The most common misconception about traveling is that one has to be rich or extremely well off in order to wander and explore our beautiful planet! Guess what? That’s not true! Yes, traveling can be expensive but there are many ways to severely cut down the costs. Here are a few tips that can help you turn your traveling wants into do’s.
#1 Travel credit cards and airline points
There are a variety of credit cards that offer points for purchases that you can later redeem for airline flights, hotels, and more! Do your research and find the right card that suits your travel needs. Here are a few websites to get you on your way!
The Points Guy: How Travel Credit cards Work
Nomadic Matt: Picking A Travel Credit Card
#2 Travel during off peak seasons
Traveling during off peak seasons affords you the opportunity to save drastically on hotels, tours, activities, flights and more! I traveled to Jamaica during the rainy season and snagged and awesome deal on flights an accommodation. It did rain throughout our stay but it was always for a short amount of time then the sun would be out again!
#3 Flexible Flight Dates
Across the board, it is less convenient to travel during the week but, if you can save a few hundred dollars on a round trip ticket, it’s a viable option. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are typically the cheapest days of the week to fly, Fridays and Sundays are usually the most expensive. Also, purchasing tickets directly from the airline site instead of sites like Expedia can also be more affordable.
#4 Sign up to Newsletters
Sign up to websites that offer travel bundles or email alerts on last minute flight deals such as airfarewatchdog.com , Skyscanner.com , Groupon.com or Living Social.com. There are tons of sites and they really work!
#5 Lodging: Where to stay
My primary focus when traveling is to be submerged into the culture of the country, what better way to do that than to stay , eat and play with the locals. Fortunately sites like airbnb.com or homeaway.com allow us the opportunity to do so without sacrificing comfort. You can find affordable apartments or homes for rent for ALL budgets. It is much cheaper than staying at a hotel and more personable.
Depending on the country the cost of transportation can be either very little or VERY expensive. If they have a great public transportation system, as most countries in Europe do, that is an added plus because you can purchase inexpensive day passes . If not, it may be cheaper to rent a car or even a bike for the duration of your stay. Avoid Taxi cabs at all costs!
I recall on my trip to Thailand the locals expressed to me it was so hard for them to take Taxis because all of the drivers preferred tourists. They could rip us off big time and we would have no idea!
#7 Be flexible with your destination
Don’t be too stubborn in choosing your vacation destination. Whether you want nature, beach, adventure etc there are tons of destinations around the world that will suit your needs. Go where you can get the best deal! I don’t always travel where I want when I want, I go by what makes the most sense.
#8 Avoid tourist traps
That includes restaurants, clubs, bars, or anything that is geared towards tourism. Find out where the locals eat and party, this is where you will find authentic food, meet beautiful people and enjoy the true essence of your destination.
#9 Currency Exchange
It is always best to change your currency in whichever country you are visiting. Find a bank, post office, or sometimes even your hotel. They will almost always give you a better rate than the change centers in the airports and at all of the tourist locations and there shouldn’t be any hidden fees. You should also research what the exchange rate is before you depart so there are no surprises.
Sites like Tripadvisor.com are extremely beneficial as you can read accounts from people who have been to or are currently at the destination you are planing on visiting. You can even post questions there.
Social media is also a great tool. There have been many times I search the hashtag of where I am planning to visit, find people who are currently there and ask them questions. Travelers are always eager to help one another. Don’t be afraid to be friendly!